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Hispanics & Latinos


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For a long time, healthcare professionals assumed that multiple sclerosis was uncommon in the Hispanic / Latino population. But recent studies are showing an increase in the number of people throughout Latin America who have MS — a figure that is rising faster than the growth rate of that region's total population but still less than the incidence rate in the Caucasian and African American populations.

  • On the Rise – Diagnosis of MS is increasing among Latinos and Hispanics, and as awareness grows, treatment is improving; by Momentum Magazine
  • Race and MS: Confronting Inequities – Uncovering the gaps in MS research, diagnosis and treatment in people of color; by Momentum Magazine

Durante mucho tiempo, los profesionales de salud daban por hecho que la esclerosis múltiple era poco común entre los hispanos / latinos. Pero investigaciones recientes realizadas indican un incremento enel número de personas en toda Latinoamérica con esclerosis múltiple, cifra que aumenta más rápido que la tasa de incremento de la población en general de la región pero aún menos que la tasa de incidencia en las poblaciones caucásica y afroamericana.

  • On the Rise – El diagnóstico de la EM está aumentando entre los latinos y los hispanos, y a medida que crece la conciencia, el tratamiento está mejorando; por la revista Momentum (en inglés)
  • Raza y Esclerosis Múltiple: Afrontando Inequidades – Esclareciendo las brechas en la investigación, diagnóstico, y tratamiento de la EM en personas de color; por Momentum Magazine


Hispanics / Latinos face a number of potential roadblocks to quality care. These may include language barriers for Spanish speakers, cultural differences that can lead to serious misunderstandings and, for undocumented immigrants, a fear of being deported if they seek medical help, as well as reduced access to programs that provide low-cost MRIs or medications.

Los hispanos / latinos enfrentan una serie de obstáculos para recibir atención médica de calidad. Estos pueden incluir la barrera de idioma para los hispanohablantes, diferencias culturales que pueden llevar a malentendidos y, en el caso de los inmigrantes indocumentados, el temor de ser deportados si buscan ayuda médica, como también menor acceso a programas que ofrecen pruebas de resonancia magnética o medicamentos a precios módicos.


The National MS Society is committed to identifying solutions so that families affected by MS can live their best lives.
La Sociedad Nacional de EM se ha comprometido a la búsqueda de soluciones para que las familias afectadas por la EM pueden vivir vidas mejores. Como resultado de este compromiso, ofrecemos una variedad de programas y recursos en español. También compartimos las últimas noticias de investigación que examinan cómo la EM afecta a la comunidad hispana / latina y las oportunidades de participación en los ensayos clínicos.

Participate in medical research

Research on who gets MS, prognosis, and which treatments are most effective are critical to disease management.  Medical research on MS has historically not included people of ethnic and racial minorities.  To best inform Hispanic/Lationos with MS about their disease, it is essential that they participate in research.  Otherwise, recommendations are based off conclusions from studies of other ethnic groups and races. 

Learn more about how you could be Making a Difference in MS Through Research in this article from the MS Minority Research Engagement Partnership Network.

Importance of Minorities in Multiple Sclerosis Research

MS affects African Americans and Hispanics in different ways compared with other ethnic groups. Symptoms may differ, the disease may progress faster, and treatments may have different effects. African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos are underrepresented in research studies. That makes it difficult to tell which treatments are best for them, or how to reduce the risk of MS in these groups.

You can make a difference! Talk to your health care provider about participating in a clinical trial or other types of research. Join, a research network open to all people with MS, and learn about other research studies at Learn why participation in research is important, and find out how you can help educate others at

Hispanic MS registry

Researchers at the University of Miami report that Hispanic/Latinos (primarily of Caribbean ancestry) are younger at diagnosis and have more mobility impairment than non-Hispanic white people who have MS. A new study funded by National MS Society pinpoints clinical differences between Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic people with MS.  Researchers are recruiting Hispanic/Latinos for this study.  Learn how you can participate in this research study.


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